The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By John Tomkowiak
Dean of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, WSU 

Bringing K-12 medical programs to towns like Goldendale


Since arriving at Washington State University less than a year ago as the inaugural dean of WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, I’ve been largely focused on preparing for a site visit from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting body for educational programs at schools of medicine in the United States.

That four-day visit occurred in late June. Now, we await the team’s report based on documents we sent them in May and the facts they gathered from their visit. The full LCME meets in late October to decide whether to grant us preliminary accreditation for a second public medical school in Washington.

With the visit over, I look forward to increasing my travel around the state, in part to meet with health care providers to form partnerships that will allow those providers to host medical students.

As you may know, our medical school will be community-based, meaning our students will be educated at our WSU campuses in Everett, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver and in surrounding communities across the entire state.

Partnerships with clinicians, universities, businesses, and nonprofits are an important aspect of our planned medical school and I am excited to write that we currently have 15 clinical partnerships in communities such as Richland, Everett, Vancouver, and Pullman, all of which are either medically underserved or near underserved areas.

Our goal is to change the way healthcare is delivered to remote and underserved areas, regardless of whether a physician is located there. With lifetime access to a technologically-advanced virtual medicine network, some students training in the communities noted above will establish the kinds of relationships that will encourage them to practice in or near those areas upon completion of their medical residency. Perhaps your community has health care challenges and will want to partner with us.

I also look forward to working with K-12 schools in communities like Goldendale to create pathways for those who wish to pursue a career in medicine.

I hope we have a chance to meet on one of my visits to your region. In the meantime, I encourage you to go to our website to learn more at Thank you for your time.


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